[OT] was: Re: Kubuntu a dist in crisis?

Clay Weber claydoh at midmaine.com
Tue Oct 27 21:38:42 UTC 2009

On Tuesday 27 October 2009 04:51:55 pm Steve Lamb wrote:
> Paul Rumelhart wrote:
> > Take a look at the Computer Languages Benchmark Game:
> > http://shootout.alioth.debian.org/
>     I am familiar with the shootout, thanks.  More so than you, it seems.
> > They run different programs written in a variety of languages on the 
> > architecture and show the results.
>     No, they run different test algorithms written in a variety of
>  languages.
> > You almost always see C and C++ (with
> > different compiler optimizations) at the top and scripted languages like
> > Perl, Python, and Ruby at the bottom when measuring speed and 
> > usage.  Occasionally, something like Haskell or Ada will do surprisingly
> > well.
>     And?  I never refuted that.  I also pointed out that programmer work
> declines dramatically as well.  So move your eyes over to the third column
>  and state what output there.
> > Scripting languages have a different goal in mind, in my opinion, that
> > makes them unsuitable for some types of programming.
>     Agreed.  Which is why I made the difference between system 
>  (C) and application programming (Python).
> > In the data tables on the page referenced above, the
> > difference is often minutes compared to a few seconds.
>     Sometimes, not often.  And again, these are algorithms and tests
>  designed to exaggerate differences.
> > If every
> > application library and application front-end was written in a scripting
> > language, our vast memory, CPU, and hard-disk resources wouldn't save 
> > from a sluggish, unusable system.
>     Which is never what I said.  On the other hand there have been
> applications which were written in Python and compared to their C
>  counterparts weren't all that harsh on the CPU or memory.  Bittorrent
>  clients come to mind.
> > When it comes down to it, a programming language is a tool.  Use it 
> > it makes sense.
>     Yes, now like I said, move your eyes over to the third column and see
>  what the shootout shows.  Some algorithms are 1/3rd the size of the C
>  counterparts. Put that in perspective.  A 60,000 line project in C would
>  be 20,000 lines in Python.  As I said, a factor or two more CPU/RAM usage
>  (0.5% to 2.5%, 3mb to 12Mb, for example) to obtain several magnitudes 
>  savings on the code side?  Absolutely!
>     You don't think these languages are up to the task.  I do.  You have
>  the shootout on your side.  I've got practical applications on mine.
I wasn't looking to start a fight on this question, and I don't think the 
responses are meant to inflame  or refute, just compare.

A more legitimate or useful question from me would be wondering why 
something large, such as Kontact (or Evolution for that matter) and all it's 
graphical components is written in a particular language (C or whatever) and 
not something else? And why make a big deal over it? For that matter, many 
of the Ubuntu/Kubuntu specific tools created *are* python usb-creator, 
Kubuntu's printer config applet, jockey are just a few of the ones I can think 



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